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The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale: Post Mortem

Hey CagePotato fans, this is Greg Clark from MMA Fever, I’ll be filling in for Ben as he recovers from his breast-reduction surgery, so let’s dive into The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale shall we…

Ben Saunders vs. Dan Barrera

The first fight of the Spike TV televised card set the tone for the rest of the night: Brutal, nasty, and damn entertaining.

Saunders defeated Barrera in Episode 6 by majority decision, so this bout was a true grudge match for both fighters to showcase their talent to the UFC and its fans.

Ben Saunders started round 1 demonstrating his superior striking skills, complemented by his leg kicks from his 6’3″ frame that connected on Barrera at will.  The fight was filled with back-and-forth action, but Barrera, who had been coached by Matt Hughes, showed that he was way out of his league against the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist when the fight went to the ground.

At one point, Saunders had Barrera’s back and put him in a body lock which set up the rear naked choke attempt.  As both fighters were dripping with sweat, Barrera was able to escape the bout ending submission.  Saunders stuffed Barrera’s takedowns easily which appeared to be the only weapon he had during the fight.  He also dominated on the ground and clearly won rounds 1, 2 and 3 for the unanimous decision victory against the battle worn Barrera.

Ben Saunders def. Dan Barrera via unanimous decision

Next up: Rogan’s Matt Hughes interview

Joe Rogan interviewed former Welterweight Champion, Matt Hughes about his upcoming fight against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 79: Nemesis in Las Vegas.  Here are a few key points from that brief interview:

- Hughes said GSP was the perfect fit for this fight (since Matt Serra dropped out due to injury)

- Hughes said that he will be a lot different in this fight with GSP as he had sharpened his tools that got him to the top originally.

- He claims he has the advantage over GSP given the 1 month preparation time St.Pierre has, which usually takes GSP three months to prepare for a fight.

- Hughes said he had the decision to take on an easier opponent than GSP or wait until Serra got healthy to fight him which is still undetermined when Serra will be back.

- When Rogan asked Hughes about his chances against GSP, Hughes said, “Yeah, I think I’m gonna win this fight. If I didn’t think I was gonna win, I wouldn’t have taken it”.

George Sotiropoulos vs. Billy Miles

This was a bittersweet fight for Sotiropoulos because he was the odds-on favorite to face Mac Danzig in the final.  But Tommy Speer put an end to that dream as soon as he KO’ed George out in the first round.

The Australian, George, had everything to lose in this fight if he didn’t prove to the UFC that he was a Welterweight force to be reckoned with.

Well, George delivered in spades.

He put on a clinic in the fine art of Jiu-Jitsu, using Miles as his training dummy by getting him to the ground, applying a body lock, rolling over to flatten him out on the ground, then softening him up with a few punches to the head to cinch in the rear naked choke for the convincing and effortless submission victory.  Expect to see George Sotiropoulos next year as an undeniable force @ 170.

George Sotiropoulos def. Billy Miles via submission (rear naked choke) Round 1

Troy Mandaloniz vs. Richie Hightower

Richie Hightower reminded me a lot of Josh Haynes from Season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter.  Both were fatties at one point that lost over 100 lbs. Both also sport blue dyed hair reminiscent of a Marge Simpson.

Troy Mandaloniz, in his pre-fight interview, said there was no way he was gonna get taken out by a a guy with a peacock haircut.  You know, that’s motivation enough for anyone to win given the backlash that would occur with getting destroyed by a peacock.Steve Mazzagatti—the guy with the famous mustache and fight-starting quote, “Bring it on” (not to be confused with Big John McCarthy’s quote of, “Let’s get it On”) was refereeing this fight.  I love Steve’s mustache, it looks like road kill—but enough on the facial hair, let’s talk MMA.

Hightower came out very strong against “Rude Boy” Mandaloniz with a flurry of strikes that would easily replace your favorite fly-swatting device.  This set up a nice takedown for Hightower in the first few seconds of the bout.

As both fighters made it to their feet, Rude Boy caught Hightower with a stiff right hand as payback for the quick and dirty damage done from the start.  Rude Boy then shot in for the takedown, but Hightower’s defense was solid stopping him dead in his tracks.

The pace of the fight was lightning quick and at about 2:10 left on the 5-minute clock, Hightower dropped his hands to his waist giving the appearance that he was gassing only to hear a passionate scream from his corner to get his hands up.  At this point in the later stage of round one, Hightower planted himself and threw two 1-2 punch combos at Rude Boy.  Big mistake.  Hightower was visibly gassed and also telegraphed the cadence of his combos enough that Rude Boy was able to skillfully time a straight left jab when Richie attempted the third punch combo.  This resulted in Hightower getting dropped on his ass when Rude’s punch clearly connected with the chin.

That was all it took for Rude Boy to pounce on top of Hightower and finish the fight with three hammer fists to Hightower’s head.  At that point, Mazzagatti’s mustache flew into the screen and he pulled Rude Boy off of the collapsed Hightower.

Immediately following the victory, Mandaloniz performed an odd victory dance which looked like the hula meets the Electric Bugaloo.  Joe Rogan called the dance “the best victory dance ever”.  Hmmmm… Maybe if this was the Special Olympics.

Troy “Rude Boy” Mandaloniz wins via TKO in the first round.

Jon Koppenhaver vs. Jared Rollins

Although there were many good fights last night, this one between Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver and Jared “J-Roc” Rollins was top of the heap.

A little backstory: Both fighters got into a bit of a tussle a few weeks ago when War Machine played a practical joke by “Upper-Decking” the toilet. (An Upper Deck is when you drop your turd in the tank of the toilet, causing the excrement to slowly stink whenever the toilet is flushed.) J-Roc wasn’t amused.  He swatted War Machine’s hat off his upper deck causing War to take him down violently on the ground.  Both fighters are meeting in the octagon to settle unfinished business.

War Machine was the dominant fighter in Round 1 and 2, gaining top position while pressing the action.  This would have been a clear decision victory for him if round 3 didn’t happen.

Just over a minute into round 3, Mr.Mustache stood both worn out fighters up due to inactivity on the ground. Both were clearly bloody and gassed from the battle.

At that point, War Machine shot in for the takedown and J-Roc defended it well, following up with a knee to the body along with a razer sharp left jab to War Machine’s chin.  This rocked him to a squatting position with his hands over his head like someone expecting an air raid from the military.

J-Roc showed no mercy, again kneeing War Machine while he was squatted.  Then he followed up with a straight left jab that rocked War Machine fully down.  J-Rock jumped into War Machine’s guard and attempted to ground and pound to victory except that both fighters were running on fumes in their gas tanks.  War Machine slickly rolled the exhausted J-Roc from the top position to switch mounts so War was now in full mount on top of half-dead J-Roc.  War Machine finished with three unanswered punches to J-Roc’s Mr-T head and the fight was called by Mazzagatti by TKO due to strikes.

In the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, War Machine was overcome with emotion because he had become friends with J-Roc since the Upper Deck altercation and really didn’t want to fight a friend.  War said passionately that he hopes the UFC willl give J-Roc another chance to show the fans how great he is.  I have to agree.  I would enjoy seeing J-Roc fight again–he used elbows from the bottom position like I haven’t seen in a long time… Similar to Anderson Silva vs. Travis Lutter.

Jon Koppenhaver def. Jared Rollins via TKO due strikes, Round 3

Mac Danzig vs. Tommy Speer

The Big Kahuna.  This was the fight for the UFC six-figure contract and crown of The Ultimate Fighter season 6.Before the start of the fight, you could see the camera panning on the new UFC Octagon Girl, Edith Larente.  Lord have Mercy. As we see Larente, Rogan was talking about the difference in size between Mac Danzig and Tommy Speer and he drops this priceless gem, “You can really see the size difference right away!”  To which Mike Goldberg jumps in, “Absolutely!”

When the fight started and I stopped rotfwl, Tommy Speer attempted a quick takedown on Danzig which was well defended.  Then both fighters ended up grappling for position up against the cage.  Mac Danzig drove into Speer at waist level taking the country boy wrestler down to the mat in convincing fashion.

Mac now had top position and began to ground and pound Speer with a few left jabs which caused the inexperienced fighter to roll away.  This, in turn, gave Mac Danzig Tommy’s back for him to sink in his hooks for leverage.

Danzig methodically anchored his arm under Tommy’s chin and, with every softening punch to Speer’s head, the rear naked choke was tightened like a starved boa constrictor that ultimately causes Tommy Speer to tap out quickly in the first round for the convincing submission victory.  Mac Danzig was crowned the The Ultimate Fighter Champion.

In the post fight interview, Danzig dedicated the fight to his mother for her support.  Then he dropped this tasty bomb: He will be cutting weight to fight at the 155Lb weight class which he feels is the toughest and most exciting of any weight class in the UFC.  I fully agree.  Speer was interviewed right after Mac by Joe Rogan and you could see that he was shaken up by the loss.  He admitted that he was unprepared for the bright lights, camera, and millions of viewers.  The farm boy from a town of less than a thousand couldn’t take the big city exposure.  But I’m sure we’ll see Speer inthe not so distant future fighting in the UFC.

Mac Danzig def. Tommy Speer via submission (rear naked choke), Round 1

Matt Arroyo vs. John Kolosci

Arroyo was supposed to fight Mac Danzig in the final episode however, Arroyo pulled out of the fight due to a rib injury that the doctors could not validate.  A little scared, maybe?

Arroyo looked impressive in this fight with two solid armbar attempts on John Kolosci’s right arm which looked like it had come within a hair of being broken.  Kolosci was able to weather the Arroyo storm, however, when he attempted to throw his right hand at Arroyo.  It was quite possibly the ugliest overhand right in the history of combat sports and would clearly miss the world’s biggest barn door by standing 2-feet away from it.  That is how much pain his right arm was under given the damage it suffered early in the round.

Arroyo noticing that Kolosci was injured jumps on him for a standing guillotine that ended up on the ground.  Kolosci escaped just barely then got caught in a third armbar submission attempt only this time, with his left arm at risk.  Arroyo successfully rolled out to hyper extend Kolosci’s left arm causing an immediate tap out.  I feel for Kolosci ’cause now he’s gonna need someone else to help him wipe his own ass for a few months after the torture he was put through by Arroyo on both arms.

Matt Arroyo def. John Kolosci via submission (armbar), Round 1

Roger Huerta vs. Clay Guida

Can you say Happy Birthday Clay? Yes, it was Clay “The Carpenter” Guida’s 26th birthday on this night and, as usual, Clay looked xcited and in fine form heading into the Octagon.

***Kenny Florian is greeted in the broadcast booth by Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan ***

Kenny Florian stood next to the close talker, Mike Goldberg, as a question was asked about Danzig moving to 155. Kenny appeared to be nervous in his new role which once was occupied by Randy Couture before he quit in October.  He said that Danzig is an “amazing” fighter who will do just fine in the Lightweight division.

When asked about the upcoming fight between Roger Huerta and Clay Guida, KenFlo said that Roger needs to aware of when he is being overly aggressive because that could get him into trouble in a fight. But he added Roger is a fearless fighter which is what makes him great.After that intro, there wasn’t much of any color commentating from KenFlo as I’m sure he needed to exit stage left to change his urine-soaked pants.  Then again, I would never piss my pants in front of a million viewers, I’d shit them to pay homage to Tim Sylvia instead.Despite his less than stellar performance, I hope to see Kenny Florian in the booth with a headset again because he has charisma and a little Ben Stiller-esque thing going on.

The fight is about to begin and this may very well be the last time that Big John McCarthy referees a mixed martial arts bout since he reported his retirement from the UFC last Friday and will take up with The Fight Network in a reporting capacity.

We’ll miss you Big John, so without further adieu, let’s get to the main card bout between Rogers Huerta and Clay Guida… “Let’s get it on, let’s Go! Right out of gate, Guida shoots in on Huerta for the slamming takedown.  Not too long after Guida gets a warning from Big John for kneeing Huerta on the ground while he was on one knee.  Both fighters are stood up and start slugging it out at each other viciously.  The fight is taken to the ground where Guida gets Huerta’s back and attempts the rear naked choke that was successfully defended.  End of round 1.Guida takes Huerta down early into round two.  There is a scramble then Guida gets another takedown on Huerta.  Roger is able to escape and get to his feet then Guida connects with a three-punch combo that rocks Huerta and he is taken down again.  The fight finds its way back on the feet again and the two fighters slug it out like a parking lot fight after last call.  Guida rocks Huerta with a right glancing uppercut that drops Huerta to the mat again.  Guida jumps on top of Huerta and starts grounding and pounding at the closing seconds of round two with a surprising double hammer fist to Huerta’s chest similar to the one that Thiago Silva bombed down on Houston Alexander.

End of Round 2. (I have Guida winning rounds one and two in scoring.)  Round three starts with both fighters banging away at each other’s skulls when Huerta caught Guida with a knee when Clay attempted another takedown.  This seemed to rock Guida to slow his fighting pace a bit. The fighters continued on with the third round slug fest as Guida was showing signs of gassing, Huerta manages to get Guida’s back and finishes the birthday boy’s night with a rear naked choke submission victory.  Roger Huerta def. Clay Guida via submission (rear naked choke), Round 3There were two untelevised fights and here are the results:

Roman Mitichyan def. Dorian Price via submission (ankle lock), Round 1

Jonathan Goulet def. Paul Georgieff via submission (rear naked choke), Round 1

*** Dana White’s big announcement ***

- Forest Griffin will be a coach on Season 7 of The Ultimate Fighter.

-The other coach will be announced at the Video Game Awards tonight (I predict it will be Rampage).

- Griffin will fight whoever the other coach is in the TUF 7 Finale.

Last word: This was by far the best TUF finale I have ever had the pleasure watching, and best of all: It was FREE. All of the fights were exciting to watch with all fighters leaving it all in the Octagon. This was a win for the UFC and a win for the fans that have endured a few lackluster cards in previous months.Let’s hope that this ignites the flame for what’s to come at UFC 79 on December 29th so we can enjoy more Season’s Beatings at year end and into 2008.

Thank you CagePotato.com for allowing me to pollute the MMA landscape with my ramblings. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

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DmG- December 11, 2007 at 2:26 pm
Good shit.. Great Finale for TUF
Bob Hildebrandt- December 10, 2007 at 3:50 am
Good job Clark! I hope this job doesn't mean your going slack off on the Fever!!
Devin Smith- December 8, 2007 at 7:39 pm
nice post! MMA Fever is cool!
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